The London constituency with the highest percentage of leave voters (70) in the 2016 EU referendum is held by Labour MP Jon Cruddas, who’s protecting a majority of 4,652. The triangle between Dagenham, Rainham and Hornchurch is rife with Anglo-Indian curry houses, grill places and greasy spoons — but delve a little deeper and there are still gems to be found. Local businesses and family-run restaurants have been prioritised for quality and value.Read More
Where to Eat in Dagenham, Rainham, and Hornchurch
Find pie and mash, duck a l’orange, Kabuli pulao, steak and chips — and more
Brook Pie & Mash
Pop into this East End treasure, which serves proper, sturdy pies and scoops of creamy mash doused in a verdant liquor, perfect for a quick bite on the go.
The Ship Centre
Righteously, the Ship Centre is an essential fixture in the local community — little café forms part of the ministry of the Parish Church of Rainham with Wennington. Fresh food changes daily and operates on a pay-what-you-can-afford system.
Only hearty Turkish fare is to be found here, with a regularly updated menu to reflect traditional grilled classics and hot and cold mezze. The yoghurtlu andana, spiced kofta served on bread and smothered in yoghurt and tomato, is worth trying, as are the selection of fresh pides.
Local Jimmy Lleshi’s steakhouse is all about fresh and quality ingredients and a touch of upmarket dining. For a full experience, try the surf ‘n’ turf, served with a choice of sauces. The skate wing, with lemon butter and caper sauce, is also a compelling take on a timeless dish.
(196 High Street, Hornchurch RM12 6QP)
Appropriately, this restaurant and function hall has been elevated to an institution in the area. With quiz nights, live music and fine, white linen, The Cranleigh has been offering something a bit special to locals for years. Serving a variety of dishes that wouldn’t be out of place at Abigail’s Party — such as Madeira-fried chicken livers, prawn cocktail, duck a l’orange and Tournedo Elizabeth, the menu hums with 70s British nostalgia.
Beeline for this small, family-run affair, which serves a selection of pan-Italian cuisine, from veal cutlets and fried seabass, to a selection of pastas and pizzas, taking diners through a full four courses. The polpette, which are made in-house, are a highlight.
Over in Becontree at Khyber Grill, solid renditions of chapli kebab, Kabuli pulao and Afghani naan can all be found, as well as a selection of nihaari and karahi items. Dumpokht, a dish which sees lamb slow-stewed in a dough-sealed pot, together with potato, onion, chilli, ginger and garlic, is a compelling special.
Under St Chad’s Park and straddling the border between Dagenham and Romford, another family-run Italian serves up a variety of dishes from across the country. Try lasagne or the pennette arrabiatte for a lively, chilli kick.
The Bank Restaurant
Rightly housed in a former bank, this local café and restaurant is filled with character. It is a perfect spot for brunch, with a choice of eggs — Benedict, Royale, poached with kippers and more, and hearty sandwiches which fillings like honey roast ham and fish fingers. Mains are along the gastropub line, with sausages and mash, steaks and fish and chips on offer.